Summary: Many people say they want revival, but are they ready to pay the price?
De You Really Want Revival?
New Hope Community Pastor Bob Briggs June 20, 2004
Often times over the years we have seen advertisements for church’s promoting revival. They invite in speakers who conduct revival meetings, people gear up for revival and things are shaken for a moment, but they are not really stirred. It is not so much revival they are seeking but increased church attendance. Do you really want revival?
What most want is a pseudo-revival, something that looks like, even feels like the real thing, yet does not come with the price tag. We eat imitation crab because it looks like, even feels like real crab but costs less. We wear man made diamonds because they look like, seem like the real thing but cost a fraction of the price. We are a society of life imitating life. We are looking for the next action hero, the next last comic standing, the next American idol, the next survivor, the next wife for my dad, the next swan, the next millionaire, the next great revival. What I find interesting in all these next reality shows is the majority of people who try out have no talent, or a weak talent because they are unwilling to pay the price of what it takes to arrive they want instant stardom, instant success, instant riches, instant fame. When they go unselected, they have an instant reason why they were mistreated through the selection process. Do you really want revival?
Turn to 1 Samuel 4, or look up on the screen, or in your notes. Before you say yes to something you had best understand what you are saying yes to, and be prepared to pay the price it will cost for your answer.
Verse 1, Thus the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped in Aphek.
Prior to this, the Lord had revealed Himself to Samuel and told Samuel He was going to judge the house of the priest Eli.
We begin chapter 4 with Israel meeting the Philistines on the field of battle. Israel is the people of God, the Philistines the enemy of God.
Verse 2, And the Philistines drew up in battle array and meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines who killed about four hundred men on the battlefield. Not a victorious day for the people of God. The victory they expected did not pan out and the excuses and blame for their defeat did not focus on themselves and the price they were unwilling to pay for victory. Instead they passed the blame on to God.
Verse 3, When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? How often do we hear that said today? God doesn’t love me anymore because he didn’t get me this job, he didn’t get me this raise, he didn’t get me, you fill in the blank. We bear no personal responsibility. We expect God to respond in the manner we dictate.
We try to manipulate God, they did it in Samuel’s day and it continues on in our day. Look at the rest of verse 3, Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits above the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
I know it is other people, other places, but we need to talk about them so when we see them again we can help them out. The natural inclination when God does not respond our way is to try and put Him in a position where He has no other option than to do what we consider the right thing. Am I right?
“God, its me again. You know those people I have been telling about You and how awesome you are and how you love and care for your children. Well, if you come through for me on this, they will see just how great a God you are, but if you don’t my reputation as a witness will be ruined, these people will never listen to what I have to say about you again, and well, they won’t become Christians and all the work I did to bring them to this place of almost accepting you will be lost. So do this for me.”
I won’t ask how many have talked to God in some form or another like that. That is what the Israelites were doing. They lost a battle, and so they brought God into the conversation. In there case, they brought the ark that represented where God resided there with them into the battle. They were going to force God’s hand, God would have to bring revival to them.